By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist April 4, 2012 at 10:44AM
When he’s not punching wolves with shards of glass taped to his hands in “The Grey,” rescuing his daughter with his “particular set of skills” in “Taken,” or locked in a brutal battle in “Wrath of the Titans,” we imagine that actor Liam Neeson is probably a nice guy. Though as you can see from the string of films we mentioned before, lately Hollywood likes to cast him in the sort of ass-kicking antihero roles that were usually reserved for Charles Bronson in the ‘70s. Though with January’s release of “The Grey” faring quite well both critically and financially, we can see why a Liam Neeson actioner is a sure bet. So that’s why there’s another one already in store, only this time, Neeson will have to brave some high altitudes.
Variety is reporting that Neeson will take to the skies with action stalwart Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment, as he's currently in negotiations to board the airplane thriller "Non-Stop." From a spec script Warner Bros. acquired from John Richardson and Chris Roach way back in August, Neeson is in talks to take the role of a worn-out air marshal who must protect the passengers onboard an international flight when it is faced with a grave threat. Is it terrorism, faulty mechanics, or did somebody choke on a peanut? Who knows, but we’re guessing Neeson is bound to find out. By punching things. It was previously reported that Jeff Wadlow was attached to direct, a helmer who has the instant message horror film “Cry_Wolf” and the guilty pleasure of a mixed martial arts picture “Never Back Down” under his belt, so it looks as if he’s looking to step up to the big leagues.
While this does sounds like the sort of film an aging Lucas Lee would play if this were the universe presented in “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” it could also be a fun B-Movie for Neeson. This writer wasn’t particularly won over by either “Taken” or “The Grey,” but they both had their charms, which were primarily defined by Neeson delivering the goods as an action star. He’s a long way from the days of Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives” or “Schindler’s List,” but as the Variety article also states, his last collaboration with Dark Castle Entertainment was the $130-million-worldwide-grossing action pic “Unknown.” Money talks, especially since a large percentage of that was done internationally, we’re guessing based mostly on Neeson’s presence alone.
Seeing as he just wrapped “Taken 2,” with promotional rounds for this summer’s "Battleship" and "The Dark Knight Rises” surely on the way, we imagine "Non-Stop" isn’t too far off on his project slate once he wraps up his talk-show duties for those films.